Features

News Bits

Engineers on the Move

Professional Challenge

Feature Articles


Directories

Engineering Consultants

Manufacturers Representatives and Distributors

Related Contractors

Professional Services


Engineering Resources

Virginia Schools

Engineering Societies

Home > News Bits

News Bits and Pieces - Send us your engineering related news!

“Postcards From The Edge” · Oct 1, 2004

The American Society of Civil Engineers is sponsoring a photography contest as a part of its 2005 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Entrants are encouraged to submit photos that depict America’s overburdened and aging infrastructure, such as traffic congestion or flooding. Winning images will be used to alert national and municipal leaders about America’s critical infrastructure needs, failures and improvements, in conjunction with the release of the 2005 Report Card, through a special series of “Postcards from the Edge.”

Prizes will be awarded in 15 infrastructure categories, as well as a $1,000 grand prize. Entrants can submit up to three digital pictures per category. For additional contest information and guidelines, please visit www.asce.org/reportcard/index.cfm?reaction=postcards.

Images must be received by October 31, 2004. Late entries will not be accepted.

* * *

ASCE Names Honorary Members · Sep 29, 2004

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently named
13 exemplary civil engineers as Honorary Members. The members were chosen for their contributions to the field of civil engineering through education, research and professional activities. The awards will be presented on Saturday, October 23, 2004, at the Honorary Members Luncheon during ASCE’s annual Civil Engineering Conference and Exposition in Baltimore, Maryland.

The 2004 Honorary Members are:

* * *

MM&A Named To ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms · Sep 29, 2004

Engineering News Record recently named Marshall Miller & Associates, Inc. (MM&A) to the Top 500 Design Firms for the sixth consecutive year. The rankings are based on total revenue generated for engineering design services performed. MM&A ranked #427 on the list of top performing engineering design firms with over $20 million in total revenue in engineering services for 2003.

* * *

Contract Funds Continued Research into Photonic Fiber · Sep 24, 2004

Three current U.S. defense customers have awarded KVH Industries, Inc. new engineering contracts valued in total at more than $1 million. The largest of the three is a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant for roughly $730,000 to fund continued research into KVH’s ActiveFiber™ technology. In addition to the SBIR grant, the company also received two follow-on engineering contracts for enhancements to KVH’s existing TACNAV® M100 GMENS military vehicle navigation system and the company’s fiber optic gyro (FOG)-based inertial measurement unit technology. Revenue from these contracts will be recognized during the fourth quarter of 2004 and throughout the course of 2005.

“This new engineering funding will enable KVH to expand and refine the capabilities of our proven navigation and guidance solutions as well as pursue new technologies that could support future product development efforts,” commented Dan Conway, KVH’s vice president of business development.

KVH’s proposed ActiveFiber technology uses the company’s patented D-shaped fiber and electro-optic polymers to create components inside the fiber itself, thereby making the fiber an active element within an optical system. In July 2003, the company announced that it had demonstrated in a laboratory what it believed was the world’s first in-fiber optical modulator. If successfully commercialized, this rugged optical modulator could potentially be used as a component within fiber optic gyros that must withstand significant shock and vibration, such as those used within artillery shells.

KVH TACNAV navigation systems have been used most recently during ongoing U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. While TACNAV complements the Global Positioning System (GPS), it operates independently of GPS thanks to the use of KVH’s digital compass and fiber optic gyro (FOG) technology as well as proprietary software algorithms. As a result, TACNAV continues to provide navigation, position, and heading data to the digital battlefield system, even if GPS is blocked, jammed, or is otherwise unavailable. TACNAV systems have been sold for use aboard U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Navy vehicles as well as to many allied countries, including Canada, Sweden, Britain, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Italy. KVH FOGs are used in diverse applications including inertial measurement units for torpedoes, precision tactical navigation systems for military vehicles, and image stabilization and synchronization for shoulder- or tripod-mounted weapon simulators.

Complete details regarding KVH’s defense navigation and guidance products are available at www.kvh.com/Military.

KVH Industries, Inc., designs and manufactures products that enable mobile communication, navigation, and precision pointing through the use of its proprietary mobile satellite antenna and fiber optic technologies. The company is developing next-generation systems with greater precision, durability, and versatility for communications, navigation, and industrial applications. An ISO 9001-certified company, KVH has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, with a fiber optic and military navigation product manufacturing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Kokkedal, Denmark.

* * *

Dewberry, PSA Agree On Merger Terms · Sep 23, 2004

Two nationally prominent design firms, Fairfax, VA-based Dewberry and Peoria, IL-based PSA (Phillips Swager Associates), have agreed to merge their architecture and building design operations effective this fall. A Letter of Intent was recently signed by executive management of both firms.

“If all goes smoothly, we hope to have this transaction and integration complete by January 1, 2005,” says John P. Fowler, II, PE, chief executive officer of Dewberry.

Both firms have extensive expertise in facilities planning and design within the criminal justice, educational, and healthcare markets. “While Dewberry is well-known for its civil engineering and transportation expertise, they’ve got a solid presence in building services,” says J. Thomas Seymour, AIA, chief executive officer of PSA.

* * *

ICC, SFPE Collaborate On Performance Guide · Sep 22, 2004

The International Code Council (ICC) and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) have developed the Code Officials’s Guide to Performance-Based Design Review to assist code officials and others who review performance-based fire protection designs. Unlike other guides on performance-based fire protection design, which are written for an engineering audience, this guide is intended for use by people with experience in building and fire codes, but who may not possess a detailed knowledge of fire protection engineering or performance-based design.

The guide is the work of the SFPE Task Group on Performance-Based Design Review, a 19 member, volunteer committee representing jurisdictions, fire departments, engineers, risk management representatives and ICC staff.

To purchase a copy of the Code Officials’s Guide to Performance-Based Design Review, visit www.iccsafe.org or www.sfpe.org.

* * *

ASHRAE Offers Seminars Online · Sep 21, 2004

To make learning about the latest technical information related to humidity and chilled water plants as easy as possible, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) will present its fall professional development seminars online.

Humidity Control I and II will take place from 1-4 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 4-5. Optimizing the Design and Control of Chilled Water Plants will take place from 1-4 p.m. (EST) Nov. 3-4.

The humidity course, based on ASHRAE’s Humidity Control Design Guide for Commercial and Institutional Buildings, will help designers achieve true control of humidity rather than just its moderation. The first day of the humidity course will focus on basic principles, loads and equipment. The second day will focus on applications, control levels and mold avoidance. The instructor is Lew Harriman, author of the design guide and director of research and consulting at Mason-Grant in Portsmouth, NH.

The chilled water plants seminar will present innovative techniques for the design and control of energy-efficient and life-cycle cost optimized chilled water plants. Topics include selection and specification of equipment including chillers, pumps and cooling towers; application and design; methods to mitigate low-delta-T syndrome; life-cycle cost optimized selection of chilled and condenser water set points and temperature ranges; selection of cooling tower fan controls; performance based specifications for chillers and cooling towers; and optimization of chilled water plant controls. The instructor is Mark Hydeman, a principal at Taylor Engineering, Alameda, CA.

Participants will earn .6 continuing education units, six professional development hours or six American Institute of Architects learning units. The cost is $690 ($590, ASHRAE members). For more information or to register, visit ASHRAE.org at www.ashrae.org/onlinepds

* * *

Building Safety Featured In Journal Series · Sep 20, 2004

While ventilation is obviously critical with respect to chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) agents entering buildings, it can have positive and negative impacts. So the design and performance of ventilation systems must be considered before making changes in regard to CBR attacks, according to author of an upcoming article in ASHRAE Journal.

The article is the first of a series on homeland security, based on the presentations from an April 14 satellite broadcast held by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). More than 20,000 viewers at some 1,000 sites watched the broadcast, which was hosted by the ASHRAE Presidential Ad Hoc Committee on Homeland Security and funded through a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York. Speakers discussed key issues related to building protection from chemical, biological and radiological attacks.

The article by Andrew Persily, Ph.D., National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, which focuses on ventilation and pressurization, will be published in September.

Other articles will be:
October – HVAC and refrigeration systems, William Coad, P.E., Coad Engineering Consulting, St. Louis, MO.
November – A summary of ASHRAE’s Risk Management Guidance for Health, Safety and Environmental Security Under Extraordinary Incidents, and building codes and standards, Lawrence Spielvogel, P.E., chair of the committee.
December – risks of biological agents used as biological weapons, Donald Henderson, M.D., former director of the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, a federal government office created to protect the public from acts of bioterrorism and other health emergencies.
January 2005 – filtration and air cleaning, H.E. ‘Barney’ Burroughs, Building Wellness Consultancy Inc., Alpharetta, GA.
February 2005 – personal protective systems, Ralph Goldman, Ph.D., Comfort Technology, Framingham, Mass.

* * *

Staktek Uses Flotherm Software · Sep 20, 2004

Staktek, a leading supplier of high-density memory stacking solutions, is using Flotherm thermal simulation software to ensure that innovative new products meet thermal management requirements. Thermal performance is critical to the design of Staktek’s products, which double, triple or quadruple memory in the same physical footprint as the underlying packaged component. One of the company’s most important design challenges is ensuring that the stacked packages have superior thermal performance. In a typical example, Staktek engineers recently examined a new design concept that reduces the height of a memory stack. “We modeled the new design in Flotherm to obtain the junction temperatures of the devices in the stack,” said Mark Wolfe, Product Development Engineer for Staktek, Austin, TX. “Using our Flotherm model we predicted that the low profile stack ran hotter than our baseline product. Then we evaluated several ideas to thermally improve the performance of the low profile stack. We found that by making some minor modifications to the stack we could bring the thermal performance of the low profile stack back in line with our baseline design.”

In another recent example, Staktek evaluated the effects of changing the material of the heat spreaders used in their stacks. Staktek wanted to create a lightweight stack by using lower density heat spreaders, but they were concerned about the thermal costs associated with the change. Flotherm allowed Staktek to determine the thermal penalty associated with the lightweight stack concept. “Our analysis showed that the junction temperature rise wasn’t as large as expected. Flotherm gives us the analytical information we need to make decisions,” Wolfe said. For more info visit www.flomerics.com.

* * *

"White Paper" Available on Off-Shore Manufacturing · Sep 20, 2004

Off-shore manufacturing has evolved slowly over the years as manufacturers have seen their profits being squeezed by a wide variety of factors: high labor costs, increased regulations, and tough competitive pressures. All of which have lead manufacturers to explore the holy grail of off-shore manufacturing. In fact, off-shore manufacturing has become so big, that American manufacturing has become a significant and rising percent of China’s GDP.

In a recent “White Paper” produced by Flinchbaugh Engineering, the current state of affairs in off-shore manufacturing is examined. The report sources numerous documents, articles and research results to piece together a glimpse of outsourcing to other countries. Manufacturers often miss some viable alternatives stateside, according to the report, that could help them contain costs while keeping jobs in America. The report examines some case studies where successful on-shore, outsourcing of manufacturing was the best solution used.

A hard copy of the report can be obtained by calling Jack Richards at Flinchbaugh Engineering at (717) 755-1900, ext. 133, or an electronic version can be accessed at www.flinchbaugh-usa.com.

* * *

Older News | More Recent News